"Every day, nearly 1,300 trains pass through Chicago-making it one of the busiest rail hubs in the United States," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "CREATE will invest in critically needed improvements to increase the efficiency of passenger and freight rail infrastructure, enhance the quality of life for residents and ensure Chicago remains a competitive destination for travel and trade."
"There aren't many projects that deliver this kind of bang for the buck," Congressman Lipinski said. "As a linchpin of the CREATE rail modernization project, it's critical to modernizing our aging rail system, preserving our status as America's transportation hub, and boosting long-term job creation in northeastern Illinois. Having obtained the initial $100 million for CREATE back in 2005, I'm very glad we're finally breaking ground."
Since the 1990s, Midwestern states have planned an intercity passenger train network that connects the 40 largest cities in the Midwest with over 60 roundtrips from downtown Chicago each day. The Englewood project will benefit passengers traveling along an improved corridor from Detroit, which has been awarded several grants for construction projects to increase speeds to 110 mph. Travelers from Cleveland, Indianapolis and Cincinnati will also see fewer delays thanks to the new bridge. The project is part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE), a public-private partnership between the state, city and railroads aimed at untangling Chicago's infamously snarled railroads where conflicts cause delays across all modes of travel.
A strict "Buy America" requirement ensures U.S. manufacturers and workers receive the maximum economic benefits from this federal investment. The project will boost domestic manufacturing of railway supplies. According to Railway Supply Institute, Illinois railway suppliers account for over $4.5 billion in sales each year, more than any other state in the nation. U.S. DOT previously announced a $782 million investment for a fleet of next-generation American-made trains to operate across the Midwest and in California.
Thirty-two states across the U.S. and the District of Columbia are currently laying the foundation for passenger rail corridors to link Americans with faster and more energy-efficient travel options. To date, U.S. DOT has invested $10.1 billion to put America on track towards providing new and expanded rail access to communities and improving the reliability, speed, and frequency of existing service.